Sex offender back behind bars after failing to register address with police - The Rugby Observer

Sex offender back behind bars after failing to register address with police

A SEX offender from Rugby who had failed to register his address with the police after being released from prison is back behind bars.

Graham Lees, 38, of no fixed address, but formerly of Victoria Road, Rugby, was jailed for 12 months after pleading guilty to failing to comply with his sex offender registration.

And he was warned by a judge at Warwick Crown Court that when he is released, he will have three days to register – or he will be breached again and his sentences ‘will get ever longer’.

Prosecutor Angus Robertson said that in October 2003 Lees was given a three-year community order, with a condition of taking part in a sex offender programme, for indecent assault.

In December the following year he was re-sentenced and jailed after failing to comply with the order, as a result of which he was ordered to register as a sex offender for life.

Then in June 2012 he was jailed for offences including burglary – and the court heard on that occasion he had carried out a series of burglaries in which he had stolen women’s underwear which he then hoarded in his bedroom.

Lees was released from that sentence in November 2015, but failed to comply with the requirement to register the address where he was living with the police.

He had given his mother’s address in Rugby, but the police visited on a number of occasions early last year, and were told by his mother that he no longer lived there and had moved to the south of England.

As a result, Lees was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months.

But he continued to fail to notify the police where he was living, as a result of which he appeared at Guildford Crown Court in June this year.

He was given a consecutive 12-week sentence, which was again suspended, but still failed to register.

When he was arrested by Thames Valley Police on an unrelated matter in August, Lees claimed that when he had left court he had been too late to go to Guildford probation office.

He said he wanted to go back to Rugby to see his family because his mother had died while he was serving a sentence for an unrelated matter earlier this year, and he had attended her funeral under prison escort.

It was put to him that he had had three days to register his address following the Guildford Crown Court hearing, and that he had repeatedly failed to comply with the requirements of the order – to which he made no comment.

Sarah Holland, defending, said: “He is 38 years old, and has been in prison almost consistently since 2003.

“This is his third breach, but the circumstances of this breach are different to the previous two.

“He was released from court very late in the day and told to go to probation. He would say that by the time he got there, there was insufficient time to see anyone.

“He was released without anywhere to live, without any familial support, and without any money or income.

“He decided the best thing was to prioritise finding somewhere to live and finding employment, and to visit family to build some bridges because the family blame him for the stress placed on his mother.

“By the time the following two days had expired he was still with family and he realised he’d breached again, but instead of handing himself in, he buried his head in the sand.

“There was no deliberate concealment of his whereabouts,” said Miss Holland, who added that Lees ‘wants to make a fresh start’ when he is released.

Jailing Lees, Judge Murray Creed told him: “It is your third breach of the order, and the approach to such offences is that a period of custody is imposed.

“I am sure you understand that if you persist in breaching the order, the periods of imprisonment imposed by the courts will get ever longer.

“When you are released, you have three days to register, or you will be breached again.”


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